Keep streets safe and children in school

Letters to the Boston editor, February 19, 2010
By BOSTON PHOENIX LETTERS  |  February 17, 2010

Thank you for your very insightful "War Over Peace" article (February 5). As part of the nonprofit Urban Improv, which works with youth-violence-prevention programs, I came to wonder whether the subtext of your article was that, though a lot of money has been spent on the StreetSafe program, it has very little accountability and ought to be more collaborative.

By the time a child resorts to violence as an expression of his or her frustration, lack of opportunities, etc., it is almost too late. I wish that we could take the "politics" (however well-intentioned) out of helping children, and come together to look at the root causes of violence — i.e., poverty and lack of positive mentors at an early age. If every citizen mentored just one child from grades one through 12, the dropout rate and violence would drop. It would cost us nothing but time, patience, and compassion.

Thanks again for your reporting on this important issue that all communities need to pay attention to — not just Dorchester, Mattapan, and Hyde Park.

CORNELIA CAREW
URBANIMPROV.ORG


BLACK MARKS FOR CINEMA

Thank you for your recent article about the portrayal of African-American families and individuals in such recent movies as Precious and The Blind Side. (See "Is There 'Hope' in Hollywood?", January 29.)

I'm a Caucasian woman who is empathetic for the experience of African-American people. I knew I didn't want to see those movies and was uncomfortable with the previews and ads I had seen, but couldn't put a finger on what it was until I read your article.

I did see The Princess and the Frog, and was disappointed that the two darker skinned people ended up being turned into green frogs for most of the movie. And I was annoyed that it made it seem like all African-Americans practice voodoo, which is not reality. Disney has come a long way, but still has a ways to go.

NATALI FREED
DORCHESTER


HISTORY REPEATED

Regarding your review of The Most Dangerous Man in America:Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers (February 9): looks like the Young Turks are becoming the Old Lions and soon the Forgotten Princes. I guess learning from our mistakes just isn't part of the United States' political and cultural make-up.

JOSEPH RUIVO
GRAFTON


CORRECTION

Our February 9 review of the film The Most Dangerous Man in America mistakenly identified the late Robert McNamara as a former secretary of state. McNamara was secretary of defense under John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson.

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